For the online learning world

Learning designMoodle

Moodle Quiz question types – Short answer

In a short answer question the learner enters a word or phrase in response to a question.

In a short answer question, the learner types in a word or phrase in response to a question. The question could feature an image – so you can design “Who is this?” or “Where is this?” type questions.

Answers may or may not be case sensitive. So if you wanted people to be careful with the typing you could set “Paris” to be correct, but “paris” would not be.

The answer could be a word or a (short) phrase, but it must match one of your acceptable answers exactly.

Even the above, it’s a really good idea to keep the required answer as short as possible to avoid missing a correct answer that’s just slightly different to what you expected, but essentially correct.

You could also give common misspellings or alternate spelling partial credit with this option. For example you could accept “Centre” and “centre”, or “through” and “thru”.  Use can use wildcards to allow for variants on a word or phrase, such as “Conserv*”

If you want one question with the two answers fuel and oxygen, you ought to be able to limit the number of variants by writing:


This would accept “fuel oxygen”, “fuel, oxygen”, “fuel; oxygen”, “fuel and oxygen”, “fuel & oxygen” “fuel oxygen”, “fuel und oxygen” “fuel&&oxygen”. It would even accept “fuel or oxygen”, “fuel but not oxygen” “fuel|oxygen” which might not be so good ?

You can give different answers different grades too! Here are some answers and scores for the question “What does a rocket burn?”

oxygen*fuel with a score 100% 
*fuel* with a score 50%
*oxygen* with a score 50%
*air* with a score 40% 
* with a score of 0%


The order of the answers is vitally important. The answers are evaluated sequentially from first to last. When a match is found the process stops. If no match is found the question is scored wrong and the general response is used.

Therefore it is a good practice to put a wild card as the last answer so the evaluation process knows what to do when nothing above it matches.

Note that both the Moodle Quiz and Lesson activities both have short answer question types, although they are not exactly the same.

Stuart Mealor
Latest posts by Stuart Mealor (see all)

Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

Add a reply or comment...